Reckless Love pt. 3 – A poignant thought and example

This is part 3 of a blog reflecting further on a sermon message I gave in reference to the worship song, “Reckless Love.” Please join in the conversation with your thoughts and reflections.

 

I was speaking with another person after the service Sunday night and this person has obviously had some bad experiences with love. He said that he doesn’t see anything wrong with the phrase, “reckless love” because there’s no such thing as perfect love. He said that everyone is broken and unable to love without hurting people and he even went as far as to say that God’s love must be the same.

You see, this person has experienced reckless love in an entirely different way than what the song is meant to convey. I told this person – who’d been hurt and burned by people and had previously given up on God, and is now on the path back to loving and believing in God again – that they were right about one thing. No human is capable of perfect love, and sometimes love is so tangled up in our sin that our love can be violent and dangerous, or in another word, reckless.

Then I told him that I believe God is different. God’s love is perfect and God’s love doesn’t hurt us like that.

 

This person, having gone through whatever it is they went through that broke their faith in the first place, is now coming back to God with a working understanding of God’s love. I mean, it’s a work in progress. He’s confused about a lot of things, and then he comes to church and hears this phrase, ‘reckless love of God,’ and automatically associates it with the kind of reckless love – that is careless, hurtful “love” – that he’s been exposed to.

 

Do you see what I mean about the potential danger associated with having this phrase used in congregational worship? 

This person was literally formalizing a theology that God’s love isn’t perfect, and the song was well on the way to helping solidify that.

  2 comments for “Reckless Love pt. 3 – A poignant thought and example

  1. John
    July 2, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Jono, interesting example, however the truth it illustrates is wider than this specific phrase. Don’t we all potray our personal interpretation of God’s nature based on our earthly experiences? For example if I had grown up with an abusive father then every song we sang at church which used the term father would be a violation of my view of God as a father. It would be my responsibility as an individual to obtain an understanding of God’s true nature of a Father from scripture. I would also hope the way my church taught and protrayed God as a father would help in correcting my view of God’s nature. It would be impossible to sing any song or hymn in church if I have a corrupted definition of a word or phrase based on my experience. In turn, rendering sung worship as “dangerous” to someone’s faith? Labelling the phrase ‘reckless love’ in this example to be damaging of someone understanding of God or reinforcing a worng belief of God isn’t really fair because any phrase or word used in worship could reinforce a broke tehological view.

    • jonathanbarb
      July 4, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks for you input, John. I’m not sure I wholly agree with your argument about the use of Father. I understand that some people have had a hard time opening up and accepting God as Father due to a poor relationship with their own earthly fathers, and I agree that it would be up to you (and also the those believers around you to help understand that) to gain the sense of a Good Father through reading Scripture. But the use of Father, and Father as Good for that matter, is consistent within Scripture. The imagery is there, and what’s more is that the words are there too. Nowhere in Scripture do we see the words, or the outright implication of God’s love being reckless. It’s not only inconsistent with Scripture, it’s not Scriptural at all.

      and I do think sung worship has the potential to be dangerous. I don’t think you were there Sunday night, were you? I mentioned that it’s through songs that we develop what we think about God more than anything else these days. therefore, the songs we sing carry a huge weight and responsibility to teach us good and true things. Would you substitute the word “careless” for “reckless?” Why or why not? They are synonyms.

      I just suggest that there are multiple words that would be more accurate and less dangerous that could be used: perfect, relentless, self-less, awesome, etc.

      I don’t know how using any of those words could be used to “reinforce a broke theological view.” But ‘reckless,’ literally meaning to not care of the consequences of one’s actions goes to imply that God doesn’t really care or really think through his actions, which is a ridiculous thing to say, don’t you think? You gonna try to tell me that God’s love doesn’t care? I know that’s not what the songwriter means, but it is what the word, itself, means and I think that can be dangerous.

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